I grew up in the good old days. The ones where children roamed the streets all day and their parents had no idea where they were. I played at any house with a child my age--even if my parents didn't know theirs. I would wander home around lunchtime, if the strange mother of the house where I was playing didn't already feed me a PB&J (I'm sure kids had peanut allergies back then, but not once was I ever asked if I had one. I didn't, so it's okay.) We played till the sun went down, then you'd hear the clarion call of the neighborhood-- "Timmy! Sally! Jane! Come home!"
One of my favorite friends was Lisa. She lived on the corner of my street. My sister, Ellen, and I would go down to Lisa's house. Sometimes we would play house or modeling (my dream was to be a supermodel, so glad that one came true.), but the best game we played was 'Queen'.
In this make-believe world, Lisa was the queen and we were her servants. Why, you may ask, would we like playing servants? Because Lisa had an interesting querk.
She would eat ANYTHING.
No, really. Anything. So, as her servants, we would make her meals and she would eat them. How much fun is that?
Ellen and I would roam the yard, picking random berries and leaves and adding scoops of dirt. We'd mix our concoction on a plate (Miracle Whip lid) and, then, take it to Queen Lisa, who was sitting on her throne on the porch. We would watch with a mixture of horror and fascination (and just a touch of admiration) as she would eat every. last. bite.
What a great friend.
Today, I do not have friends who eat possibly poisonous berries. But, I do have what others might consider not-you-normal-friendships. Yep, I'm talking about bloggers. I love my blogging friends. I spend time with them almost every day. But, there are some difficulties when you cultivate these kinds of relationships.
And, it makes for some careful wording when you talk to people who don't frequent the blogging world.
"So, I was reading, um, I mean I was talking to this friend of mine. She wrote, uh, said the funniest thing."
My husband has gotten used to it. He knows that when I talk about Marianne from Chicago, that I've never been to Chicago and that Marianne and I have never met. But, he indulges me when I say, "You know my friend, Marianne? She made me laugh so hard today that I snorted." He realizes it was something she wrote and I read. He doesn't even roll his eyes. He's been with me a long time.
Others may not be so understanding. They might be confused by my obsession with my internet friends.
"I was reading TangledLou's blog. Oh, she got a new house and she wrote this amazing post about. And, Tara, she found this stray cat, but then had to let it go. It was so profound."
"Who are you talking about?"
"Well, you know. My blog friends. Like Deb. She gave us a challenge to set a goal and accomplish it in 25 days. I'm totally doing it. And, Larissa just got back from Brazil. She has the most amazing pictures."
"Jewels, you don't really know these people.'
"Yes, I do. I read their blogs and they read mine. There's Judy, who is so strong she isn't afraid to express her views. And, Sleepy Joe, she lives in England. How cool that I have friend in England? And, Masked Mom. Her son just bought the cutest house."
"Wait, I know you've never been to England."
"Duh. I know that, too. We're blogging friends."
"These people are probably not what they say. They're probably creepy old men pretending."
"Not true. I've met two of them. Deb from Kicking Corners is an amazing writer and a great conversationalist. And, Sarah, from the Best Stuff, is a singer. We're having lunch. Next week. So there."
They still wouldn't believe me, or understand. And, they'd probably talk about me as soon as I left the room. How I'm a bit delusional. And, they'd probably plan an intervention.
That's okay. I know real friends when I have them.
And, they don't even have to be a queen.